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Published: Sunday 01 September, 2013

handbags for cheap handbags for cheap could influence China coal habits with exports



Coal exports, a favorite topic here at Wonkblog, have become a hot environmental issue of late. Coal use is shrinking in the United States thanks in part to cheap natural gas. mining companies such as Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources have seen their share prices tumble of late. They resting their hopes on six new export terminals in Oregon and Washington, which, once built, will enable the Pacific Northwest to ship more than 150 million tons of coal to Asia. In essence, we be exporting our carbon pollution overseas. So, to prevent that, environmentalists are trying to bog these projects down. And they gaining momentum: Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber D, for one, has called for a full review of the terminals.



So here a question: Would blocking these export terminals have any impact on the staggering growth in coal use in places such as China? Actually, yes: There some evidence that it could matter a fair bit at the margins.



At first glance, it may look like the United States couldn possibly have much sway over China coalhungry habits. China, after all, has plenty of its own coal, boasting the secondlargest reserves in the world. In 2010, the country imported less than 5 percent of the coal it used from overseas. And the United States makes up a tiny sliver of this market because of how Chinese ports and rail networks are set up, China still gets most of its imported coal from Indonesia and Australia:



Still, as a recent and fascinating report pdf from the Carnegie Endowment explains, Chinese coal imports are likely to grow enormously in the coming years. For one, Chinese coal use has been growing at a rate of nearly 6 percent each year. And China domestic production can keep pace, thanks to railroad and shipping bottlenecks from mining centers in Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia provinces.



What more, the Carnegie report notes, the Chinese government is becoming increasingly sensitive to the ecological damage wrought by domestic coal mining as well as to the growing number of protests over unsafe mining conditions. According to official statistics, 6,027 Chinese miners died in 2004, though the real number is probably higher. There are real costs to ramping up production in China.



As a result, China will likely try to import a growing share of its coal in the coming years. Much of that will likely come from Indone handbags for cheap sia and Australia, since China import infrastructure is geared toward those two regions. But many analysts expect the United States to play an increasingly crucial role in coming years. has been supplying China with just small amounts of coking coal, which is used for iron and steel production and which is less readily available in China.



And if American coal starts pouring into China, that will help keep prices down. If that happens, Chinese power plants and factories will burn even more coal and use the stuff less efficiently than they otherwise would. Grist David Roberts points to a recent paper pdf by Thomas M. coal will drive down coal prices in that market. Sever handbags for cheap al empirical studies of energy in China have demonstrated that coal consumption is highly sensitive to cost. One recent study found that a 10 percent reduction in coal cost would result in a 12 percent increase in coal consumption. Another found that over half of the gain in China intensity improvement during the 1990s was a response to prices. exports are already having an impact. Coal prices in Asia hit a 16month low recently, thanks to an overflow of coal from the United States and Colombia. And the Pacific Northwest hasn even seriously ramped up its exports yet. coal will prove to be for countries like India or China. coal augments or displaces production from countries like Indonesia.



Still, at the margins, supply and demand matters. The point of Thomas Power paper is that a deluge of coal from the United States will, in the end, cause Asia to use more coal. Countries like China will have less incentive to develop alternative energy sources or become more efficient. And that, in turn, will mean more heattrapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than there otherwise would be. To put this in perspective, 150 million tons of coal produces about as much carbon dioxide as 60 million cars.



That why many environmentalists are looking for ways to, as Roberts puts it, the damned coal in the ground. export terminals in the Pacific Northwest is one such strategy. Of course, coalmining firms like Arch and Alpha, now struggling to keep their stock prices aloft, aren likely to sit idly by while this happens.



Ezra Klein



Ezra Klein is the editor of Wonkblog and a columnist at the Washington Post, as well as a contributor to MSNBC and Bloomberg. His work focuses on domestic and economic policymaking, as well as the political system that constantly screwing it up. He really likes graphs, and is on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. Email him here.



Neil Irwin



Neil Irw handbags for cheap in is a Washington Post columnist and the economics editor of Wonkblog. Each weekday morning his Econ Agenda column reports and explains the latest trends in economics, finance, and the policies that shape both. Follow him on Twitter here. Email him here.



Sarah Kliff



Sarah Kliff covers health policy, focusing on Medicare, Medicaid and the health reform law. She tries to fit in some reproductive health and education policy coverage, too, alongside an occasional hockey reference. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, Politico, and the BBC. She is on Twitter and Facebook.



Brad Plumer



Brad Plumer is a reporter focusing on energy and environmental issues. He was previously an associate editor at The New Republic. Follow him on Twitter. Email him here. covers taxes, poverty, campaign finance, higher education, and all things data. He has also written for The New Republic, Salon, Slate, and The American Prospect. Follow him on Twitter here. Email him here. is a reporter focusing on business policy, including lobbying, government contracting, and international trade, with a bit of urban affairs and infrastructure on the side. Email her here and follow her on Twitter here. handbags for cheap

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